The musings of a final year medical student

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Is marriage outdated?

Recently, I've been doing lots of prep for my upcoming A level French speaking exam, where I am preparing a debate on privatisation of the NHS. Following the debate, the examiner then continues to have a general conversation with you on topical discussions - one of those potentially being the relevance of marriage. As I was trying to flesh out some potential responses, I got completely spun out. I had no idea what to think!

Back in previous generations (and still in many non-Western countries) marriage was significant for strengthening bonds and maintaining the prestige of two families. If a family was very wealthy, it goes without saying you must also marry into a similarly wealthy one.

Secondly, there's religion. Whilst the religious population is still significant in the 21st century, a notable agnostic/atheist population coexists with them, with many countries such as the England that really behave in a more secular fashion, despite being technically a Christian nation due to the royal family.

Marriage is believed by many as the only appropriate unit for raising children, but truly I have to disagree. We all know married couples with kids that undergo lengthy, difficult divorces that (without exaggerating too much) truly horrify the children. I have several friends that truly affected by the divorce, and not in a good way. At the same time, there are many same-sex and heterosexual couples
who never marry and have produced stable households that have raised wonderful children.

To me, the only reason I ever thought I would want to get married is a testament of love and commitment. But now I wonder why does everyone else do it. Is it the same as me? Or a combination of the above factors.

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